Section 2. Amateur Rockets
traffic is authorized to issue waiver/
authorizations to part 101 for amateur
rocket activities and is responsible for
integrating amateur rocket activities into
the NAS. The appropriate service area is air
traffic's point of contact for part 101 and
associated waiver/authorizations, and is
responsible for coordinating certain
proposals regarding airspace operations and
procedures with AST.
supports the waiver/authorization process by
providing Air Traffic with the results of
safety analyses and recommendations
pertaining to proposed amateur rocket
provides oversight and support to service
areas for amateur rocket operations.
and coordination between AST and Air traffic
is paramount. Since AST personnel are not
located at the regional offices, the
required AST coordination occurs at FAA HQ.
accordance with part 101, an amateur rocket
on a suborbital trajectory;
cross into the territory of a foreign
country unless an agreement is in place
between the United States and the country of
create a hazard to persons, property, or
addition to the above, Class 2-High Power
Rockets and Class 3-Advanced High Power
Rockets, must not operate:
any altitude where clouds or obscuring
phenomena of more than five-tenths coverage
any altitude where the horizontal visibility
is less than five miles;
sunset and sunrise without prior
authorization from the FAA;
5 nautical miles of any airport boundary
without prior authorization from the FAA;
controlled airspace without prior
authorization from the FAA;
observing the greater of the following
separation distances from any person or
property that is not associated with the
less than one-quarter of the maximum
a person at least eighteen years old is
present, is charged with ensuring the safety
of the operation, and has final approval
authority for initiating high-power rocket
reasonable precautions are provided to
report and control a fire caused by rocket
applicant must submit FAA Form 7711-2,
Application for Certificate of Waiver or
Authorization, at least 45 days prior to the
event, and must include the required
information as outlined in section 101.29.
service area is the focal point for
receiving, processing, and signing
waiver/authorization requests. A service
area may delegate waiver/ authorization
processing responsibilities to a facility,
in accordance with FAA Order 7210.3.
proposal overlaps service area geographical
jurisdictions, the affected service area
must coordinate to determine which office
will serve as the lead office for processing
the proposal. Coordination between service
areas is also required when the affected
geographical area and the ATC facility are
under the jurisdiction of different service
areas or facilities.
waiver/authorization is required for amateur
rocket operations conducted outside the
operating limitations per paragraph
31-2-2. The most
common reason for requesting a
waiver/authorization is to operate within
controlled airspace. An applicant must
submit its waiver/authorization request to
the service area. If the applicant submits
its request directly to AST, AST must direct
the applicant to submit its request directly
to the service area.
service area must perform the initial review
of the waiver/authorization request.
service area must verify that FAA
Form 7711-2 is complete and that the
information required in section 101.29 has
been provided. The service area must return
incomplete waiver/ authorization requests to
the applicant for additional information.
Requests that cannot be accommodated will
not be coordinated beyond the service area.
complete waiver/authorization requests must
be assigned a unique waiver/authorization
number for ease of processing. The number
must consist of the three-letter service
area identifier, four digits containing the
year and number of the request received that
year, and the contraction “RKT" (for
example, WSA-1034-RKT indicates Western
Service Area, the year 2010, and the 34th
waiver/authorization for that year).
This number must be used in all
correspondence and coordination when
referring to this operation.
less than 30 days prior to the proposed
launch date, the service area must forward
requests that require AST safety analysis
(all Class II intended to enter Class A
airspace, all Class III requests and all
requests to waive the standoff distance of
section 101.25(g)) to AST and the ATO
Commercial Space POC (ATO POC).
must conduct a safety analysis that
determines or verifies the following:
size and location of the ground hazard area.
size and location of the aircraft hazard
area(s) and the times during which the
hazard area(s) must remain clear of aircraft
during both normal operations and in the
event of a failure.
additional steps that the amateur rocket
operator must take to ensure public safety.
must coordinate with the service area when
additional information is required from the
less than 10 days prior to the proposed
launch date, AST must provide its safety
analysis results and any related
recommendations to the service area and the
service area must coordinate with the
appropriate facilitv(s) for the processing
of the waiver/authorization. This
coordination must include the performance of
an Aeronautical Analysis, as described in
service area must sign and issue the
waiver/authorization with appropriate
service area must provide a copy of the
approved waiver/authorization to the
applicant and facilities.
any waiver/authorization requests that
require review under subparagraph b.3, the
service area must provide a copy of approved
waiver/authorization to AST and AJV-11.
service area must archive the approved
waiver/authorization and associated data for
tracking purposes through a local process.
facility must develop an Airspace Management
strategy as described in paragraph
to each activity, the facility must develop
an Electronic System Impact Report in
accordance with FAA Order 7210.3.
NOTAM must be issued per the terms of the
issuing a Certificate of Waiver or
Authorization for amateur rocket operations,
the service area and appropriate facilities
must conduct an aeronautical analysis to
identify any aeronautical impacts to be
resolved or mitigated. The analysis must be
specific to the proposed site, and may
include, but is not limited to, the
details on the amateur rocket event, such as
location, date(s), time, number of launches,
and expected altitude.
the class of rocket operations specified in
the Certificate of Waiver or Authorization,
as this will determine which sections of 14
CFR part 101 apply.
The applicant is responsible for determining
class based on the definitions in part 101.
the class of airspace where the event is
proposed, and consider the impact of the
rocket operation to local airports, VFR
aircraft and routes, IFR routes and
procedures, military training routes,
special use airspace, etc.
Per 14 CFR
section 101.23, the amateur rocket operator
is responsible for ensuring the safety of
persons and property on the ground and of
aircraft flying nearby. Facilities develop
airspace management strategies, based on the
operator's proposal, to maintain the safety
and efficiency of the NAS.
should consider all available airspace
management tools when developing the
airspace management strategy. The following
criteria is recommended or required as
outlined below for implementing airspace
launches to altitudes less than 10,000 ft
MSL, no airspace management is required.
launches to altitudes between 10,000 ft and
17,999 ft MSL, airspace management is
launches to altitudes above 18,000 ft MSL,
airspace management is required.
restricted area airspace may be used only if
permission has been granted by the using
agency or controlling agency, as
appropriate. The responsibility is on the
proponent to obtain the required permission.
special use airspace may be used only if
permission has been granted by the using
agency or controlling agency, as
appropriate. The amateur rocket operator is
responsible for obtaining the required
flight restrictions (TFR) for space flight
operations as described in 14 CFR
section 91.143 may be used to segregate
nonparticipating aircraft from amateur
rocket operations, as necessary.
must determine the impact of the operation
to the NAS , accounting for any mitigations
identified in the airspace management
service area must not issue the Certificate
of Waiver or Authorization until all
concerns or objections have been considered.
31-2-6. WAIVER/AUTHORIZATION FORMAT AND
FAA Form 7711-1, Certificate of Waiver or
Authorization, to issue the
a minimum, the waiver/authorization must
contain the following:
section of part 101 to be waived or
address, and telephone number of the
approved for launch.
of the approved launch site in coordinates
and description of location (for example,
30NM west of ABO VOR).
dates and times of launch operations.
notification requirements to the designated
FAA facilities and, if desired, cancellation
and termination notification.
projected altitudes of the rocket(s).
provisions or requirements deemed necessary
to maintain safety of the NAS.
service area office may suspend or revoke a
waiver/authorization whenever a question
arises about the safety of the operation,
compliance with safety precautions or
conditions of approval, or if an unforeseen
impact on aeronautical operations occurs.
and conditions. In most cases, an attachment
containing terms and conditions of the
Certificate of Waiver or Authorization will
be included. Provisions commonly addressed
in terms and conditions may include, but are
not limited to, the following:
on the operator to use ground observers
(“spotters") to ensure that the airspace is
clear of aircraft.
requirements on the operator for ensuring
public safety, including any requirements
pertaining to the recommendations provided
by AST described in paragraph
from CFRs applies to the specific CFR
referenced in the waiver/authorization.
requirements on the operator, beyond those
listed in paragraphs
31-2-6 b. and
notification and communication with the ATC
facility, including real time
31-2-7. NOTIFICATION TO AIR TRAFFIC
requires all Class 2 and 3 amateur rocket
operators to notify the FAA air traffic
facility nearest the place of intended
operation prior to the launch. Notice of the
launch must be provided to Air Traffic no
less than 24 hours and no more than 3 days
before the launch operation. If the
operation requires a waiver/authorization,
the waiver/ authorization must contain the
names and phone numbers of the facilities to
be notified. If required by the
waiver/authorization, the operator must
ensure that real time communications are
available with the air traffic facility in
the event of unforeseen circumstances.
must be issued that includes the keywords
“airspace" and “rocket launch activity," the
site description, and effective dates and
times. It should also include a brief
narrative describing the rocket operation,
numbers and types of rockets involved, and
contact information for nonparticipating